It’s a new year, and if you thought Scientifically Speaking was over, think again. The series is back, stronger than ever and ready to tackle some of those tricky (and sometimes confusing) health topics we often run into.
This time, I wanted to take a closer look at a specific ingredient found in the Essentials™, because it never hurts to discover exactly why we consider this product so essential to our bodies.
Russ Barton, one of our scientific experts, suggested that I turn the spotlight on magnesium, because in his opinion, “it’s one of the most overlooked minerals, yet one that has some of the best justification for supplementation.” That was all I needed to hear. It was time to investigate why Russ was playing for Team Magnesium.
A Mineral that Matters
If you’re familiar with USANA, you know that we partner with some of the smartest people for our scientific research and studies. Fortunately, many of these experts come from the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) at Oregon State University, where I found plenty of information about magnesium.
This mineral is an important player in the structure and function of the human body. From energy production to cell signaling and migration, magnesium is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions. It’s even required for a number of steps during nucleic acid and protein synthesis. For example, certain enzymes participating in the synthesis of carbohydrates and lipids require magnesium for their activity. The same goes for important antioxidants such as glutathione.
Usually, a magnesium deficiency is uncommon if you’re eating a healthy variety of foods, but it is still a possibility. There are certain medical conditions that increase this risk. These include gastrointestinal disorders, renal disorders, and even chronic alcoholism. Your age can also contribute to magnesium depletion as you get older.
In rare cases of severe magnesium deficiency, symptoms included low serum calcium levels (hypocalcemia), low serum potassium levels (hypokalemia), retention of sodium, low hormone levels, neurological and muscular issues (tremors or muscle spasms), loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and personality changes.
How You Measure Up
Wow, that’s a lot of magnesium talk. I guess I see what Russ meant. But hold on before you grab a jersey and suit up for Team Magnesium. We need to make sure we understand exactly how much our bodies need of this magical mineral.
I could go on and on, listing the recommended daily amount for every type of individual, but instead, let’s check out the picture below. I snagged it from our buddies at LPI. It’s a complete list of the daily magnesium recommendations from the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. After they conducted some tightly controlled studies back in 1997, they decided to increase the recommended amounts. Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if those amounts increased even more in the future as we continue to learn about the benefits of sufficient magnesium levels.
How to Get it
Remember that there are a couple of ways to ensure you’re supplying your body with a sufficient amount of magnesium. As I mentioned, a healthy variety of foods is the first step. Turn to green, leafy vegetables like spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to boost your magnesium levels. Really, most foods containing dietary fibers provide magnesium.
Another great, convenient way to get your magnesium, along with a variety of healthy minerals and antioxidants, is to take a daily dose of the Essentials. The 300 mg of magnesium found in USANA’s Chelated Mineral combined with a healthy diet should easily do the trick for most people, proving, once again, why we consider these products the foundation for healthy nutrition.
|*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.|
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